Do your full-extension drawer runners derail, jam, or become difficult to open? These are typical drawer slide problems, which you can solve by choosing the ideal type of drawer slides for your cabinets. There are tons of options available when selecting between drawer slide options. But don’t let this challenge bog you down. This post presents to you some vital considerations that you’ll need to make when looking for ideal cabinet drawer slides.

What Are Drawer Slides?

Drawer slides or cabinet runners are devices that allow you to slide your drawers in and out of their drawer units. The sliding mechanisms will enable you to draw them out to access or store your items. These devices are designed and constructed with varying mechanisms and features, which give them different characteristics.

For instance, drawers can be differentiated based on drawer slide mounting options, slide extension options, weight rating, drawer finishes, or closing mechanisms.

Here is an outline of some of the vital differentiating features and characteristics of drawer slides.

Drawer Slide Types Based On Mounting Options

You can mount your drawer slides on your drawer’s sides or under the drawer.

Under-mount Drawer Slides

The under-mounted slides get installed underneath the drawer’s bottom. As such, these runners are invisible when your drawer gets drawn out. This option of drawer runners is ideal for your fine-crafted, dove-tail wooden drawers because the slides will not interfere with the beauty of such drawers because the runners don’t show.

Side Mount Slides

These are drawer runners that are installed on the sides of your drawer boxes and cabinets. These types of slides show when the drawer boxes are drawn out.

Drawer Slide Types Based on Slide Extension

Drawer slides can have three types of extension, which include the three-quarter extension, full-extension, and the over-travel option.

Three-Quarter Extension Slides

These are slides whose length extends to an estimated 3/4 of the overall length of the entire drawer slide. They’re common in nylon roller slides, and they’re often used in entry-level furniture and cabinets.

Over-Travel Extension Slides

These are drawer slides, which extend for 1 inch or 1.5 inches beyond the full extension of your slide. These slides are often used in instances where the extended lip of a desk or countertop can interfere with the access of the deep end of the drawer. These types of slides are ideal for file drawers.

Full-Extension Drawer Runners

The full-extension drawer runners or ‘full-access’ slides are slides, which extend to the full length of your cabinet. Unlike the three-quarter extension slides, the full-extension drawer runners grant you full access to the contents within your drawers. The full-extension drawer runners are ideal for drawers at the top of your cabinets, where it may be hard to reach the deep end of the drawer to get out the stored items.

Drawer Slide Types Based On Drawer Finish

Drawer finishes make the surfaces of drawers easy to clean. They also give your drawers a visual appeal and protect the drawer’s interior and bottom. You can use lacquer, shellac, or waterborne finishes on your drawers. But the finishes should at least be odor-free. You should avoid oil-based finishes on drawer interiors because they will fail to cure. Oil-based finishes need an environment with enough oxygen to cure. The insufficient levels of oxygen in the drawers may not allow your drawers to cure thoroughly, and they’ll have an unpleasant odor that will be hard to end.

Drawer Slide Types Based On the Drawer Weight Rating

The amount of weight that a drawer can carry depends on the drawer’s size and the kind of materials that get used when constructing it. As such, different drawers have different weight ratings. You should thus choose a drawer slide based on the amount of weight that it can bear when your drawer is loaded.

Drawer slides or runners improve your ability to access your stored items. With proper drawer slides, your kitchen cabinets can last for at least five decades. For this to happen, you’ll need to choose cabinets with heavy-duty drawer runners that don’t jam, derail, or become difficult to open.

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